Friday, February 6, 2009


One of the largest wastes of time in any given order call comes from people spelling (or attempting to spell) words for me. For the most part it's unnecessary, annoying and insulting spellings such as "road", "lake", or "circle". I assure you that if you can spell the name of your street I can too and if I can't you've called the wrong cab company because you are nowhere near the area my cabs are. The only way to effectively cut someone off who is spelling out a street name to you is to quickly spell out the rest of the word for them. Saying something like "okay" or "I've got it" just causes them to continue spelling out the word. You must actively demonstrate to them that yes, you did pass the 1st grade and are capable of spelling out A-V-E-N-U-E avenue or they will never let you continue with the call.

Perhaps more off putting is the tendency of some people to start spelling the word without first saying the word. When I ask you the name of your street I am expecting you to respond with something like "Wildhorse Parkway" not "W-I-L-D-H" etc. depending on the name sometimes trying to process it as a spelled word, putting the letters together can actually be somewhat difficult. In a hilarious converse if I am asking for clarification there is only about a 10% chance that they will give it to me before I have asked again at least three times. If I can't tell if you are saying "bridge" or "ridge" and you just keep repeating the word with no emphasis on the beginning and not saying something like "with a b" I am not going to understand you when you say it again. Did you notice how when I gave your options to you I put an obscene amount of emphasis on the br or the singular r sounds? DO WHAT I DID. If I ask you if a letter was "p as in paul or t as in tom" and you insist on saying "pin/tin" we are not going to get anywhere. If the rare occasion comes that I actually ask you to spell out a word and you just keep saying that word I am not going to magically learn its spelling just by hearing it said some more.

Sometimes it's which words one chooses to spell that is amusing. I once had someone call for an airport pick up with a common American 3 letter first name (think Bob, Ken, Tim, etc.) and a 10 letter Japanese last name. He spelled his first name. He did not spell his last. We have one person call occasionally from Les Cherbourg Ct. who always says Les Chesbourgh C-T-period. Rarely does anyone who lives on a "glenn", "brooke", "pointe", or "passe" decide to spell their street name, however people named "Smith" and those on "Lindbergh" (which wraps around the entire city and remember this is St. Louis) always spell.

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